Touchscreen technology is pretty commonplace these days. We no longer marvel at a touchscreen phone or laptop as if it’s a gadget from the future but, at the same time, touchless interfaces are still going strong. The newer technology hasn’t replaced the old as is often the case in this digital age. Why? Is touchless better than touchscreen or vice versa? Take a look at our pros and cons and make your own mind up.
Why choose touchscreen?
Let’s face it, being able to tap your desired option takes a second whereas finding it with a mouse or typing the instructions manually will take an awful lot longer. And, whatever the reason you or your customers are interacting with a touchscreen device, whether accessing an information video, seeking out wayfinding data or filling in personal details, speed will always be a bonus.
Ease of use
The reason touchscreen tech took off in such a big way in a relatively short amount of time (after all, it was only 18 years ago that Minority Report came out and people marvelled at the futuristic novelty of it) is because of how intuitive it is. You tap where you want to go and you’re there, it’s instinctive and simple to use and will save you and your customers a great deal of time.
Whatever your industry, space is usually at a premium. With a touchscreen monitor or kiosk, you remove the need for dedicated desks, keyboards and mice and with a touchscreen table or wall-hanging device, you even remove the need for a counter to put it on. Industries like restaurants, shops and other customer-facing businesses usually need to use space as creatively as possible and a touchscreen device is a great way to free up floor space.
Easy to clean
2020 made us think about germs and hygiene like never before. Hand sanitiser, masks and gloves became the norm and for maybe the first time, we began to think clearly about who’d used devices before us. At first glance, a touchscreen device in a public place could be a harbinger of germs but compared to touchless devices they’re actually far more hygienic. With their flat (and usually water and dust-resistant) screens, they can easily be wiped clean and sterilised after every use with an effective alcohol spray. The same isn’t as straightforward for touchless keypads, keyboards and mice.
Saves time and increases profit
Specifically useful for businesses, touchscreen technology can save customers time and thereby increase profits. Rather than queueing in line to buy tickets from a seller, a touchscreen kiosk means a customer can get the tickets themselves without the wait. As a result, businesses can offer improved customer service, shorter waiting times and the chance to interact effectively with the business.
Engaging and interactive
Last but by no means least, touchscreens are great to use. As well as being intuitive and instinctive as we mentioned above, touchscreens are far more engaging and user-friendly. Millennials and Gen Z have grown up with this technology and expect to have an easy-to-use interface when making purchasing decisions and as they have such potent buying powers, it’s worth keeping them happy.
So far, touchscreen technology certainly seems to be coming out on top but there must be some drawbacks or touchless interfaces would be obsolete by now. Let’s explore the cons of touchscreen and the pros of touchless.
Why choose touchless?
The increase in quality, ease of use and convenience that comes with touchscreen technology, means there’s also an increase in cost. Top-of-the-range touchscreen devices will likely cost quite a bit more than their analogue counterparts. A company looking to save big financially may wish to opt for a touchless device in order to save a few pounds.
Proximity to screen
With touchless devices you can be any distance away providing your mouse or keypad will stretch. Theoretically speaking, with a long enough lead or Bluetooth connection, you could sit apart from the device and still use it. On the other hand, with a touchscreen device you need to be within, well, touching distance.
By design, touchscreens are sensitive. Great when you have slender fingers but possibly not so great if you’re on the clumsy side. The sensitivity of the devices can lead to someone accidentally selecting the wrong option or, worse, erasing data by mistake. For those who are heavier handed, a good old-fashioned keyboard and mouse could be a safer bet.
Remember phones from the noughties? They seemed virtually indestructible. You could drop them in water, throw them from a window or step on them and they’d still be as good as new. The same cannot be said for touchscreen phones we have these days. Yes, touchscreen devices may be more fragile than their touchless counterparts. Of course, the problem is overcome with touchscreen kiosks and tables where the option of one falling from your pocket is removed!
The final word
Touchscreen technology is undoubtedly useful. Convenient, efficient and easy to use, this form of tech can save a customer time and improve a business’s standing with their consumer base. But, there’s still a place for touchless technology which can be cheaper and more robust. Younger customers are likely to be far happier with touchscreen technology but older customers may feel more familiar with touchless. It boils down to your personal needs (or those of your business) and how you intend to use the device. Consider how you’ll use it, where it will sit and the features you require, then only you can decide which is for you.
LifeSize Touch are a leading name in touch technology. Our experienced, dedicated team can help you find the customer service hardware which will help you streamline operations and keep customers happy. For more information, head over to our homepage or call us on 0151 8080 180.